For the first time in India, a luxury train is going to organize lectures and conference for faculty and alumni of Stanford University, California during the seven-day trip on ‘Pride of South’ route on the Bangalore-Goa stretch. In November, a group of 50 students from the university will board the train for this event. The train also plans to host one of the “big fat Indian weddings” on board next year. Group series bookings are also being promoted, particularly targeting international universities.
It has been almost 4 years since its launch but the train has never run to its full capacity. It received a maximum number of bookings this February with 70 passengers. TGC’s occupancy rate during 2008-09 was 24 per cent; 28 per cent during 2009-10, 37 per cent during 2010-11 and 36 per cent during 2011-12.
M Srinivas, Project Director, TGC reported that TGC incurred a loss of Rs 10.76 crore in the last four years, despite launching another product - Southern Splendour, in March 2010. While discussions have already been held with leading travel agency - Cox and Kings India Ltd - to promote the group series bookings, the TGC has also sold the “wedding on board” concept to the agency, which is said to be equally keen on the idea.
“We are sure to have a grand wedding on board next year. Cox and Kings has already started branding the concept. As part of the group series bookings, we have also tied up with the Great Rail Journeys, UK, who are specialists in escorted holidays by train. The agency has made bookings for one whole year between 2013 and 2014. About 44 cabins have already been booked for January,” Srinivas said, adding that with these new strategies, The Golden Chariot was envisioning a turnaround in its business.
Reportedly, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) also plans to use its two luxury trains - Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels for wedding ceremonies onboard from next year on. Looks like, after beach, cruise and star hotel weddings, it’s luxury trains’ turn to organize wedding extravaganzas in India. For more information log on: http://www.golden-
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